Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a climbing vine that belongs to the pea family. Its flowers and starchy white roots have been used in traditional Chinese medicine since at least 100 A.D. and its healing benefits are many. Kudzu is used to treat heart problems, high blood pressure, and conditions with symptoms of fever, headache, or muscle stiffness. It is also used in the treatment of allergies, migraines, and diarrhea. Kudzu root tea’s sobering effects have been found to be quite effective in treating alcoholism and addiction withdrawal. I drank kudzu root tea to alleviate a severe indigestion while traveling overseas.
Kudzu has a bad reputation in the southern United States, where gardeners battle a plant that spreads and smothers out everything in its path. Said to be growing a mile a day, Kudzu climbs up trees, forms thick mats over entire fields, and can quickly hide rusted-out junk cars and even an entire house! Originally from Japan, Kudzu was imported for use as an ornamental in landscaping, as animal fodder, and for soil erosion control but has become and invasive plant. It has courage and determination.
It was the plant’s attitude, characteristics and the beauty of Kudzu’s lavender, sweet-scented flowers, along with the marvelous lesson it contains for us humans, that caused me to create this watercolor painting on paper. I found it quite uncanny that the twining, perennial vine with roots that can grow to the size of a human body, actually thrives better in the American South than it does in its native land and has no insect enemies here in the U.S. Even the strongest herbicides have proven to be rather ineffective in keeping Kudzu under control. What a role model!
It took so much courage and determination to break out of the seed and nudge upwards from the little crevices of the arid rocky soil toward the sun and become this beautiful flower…It may be worth remembering that it takes the same strength and courageous action in spite of fear, for humans to push out of the warmth in the womb…It may be a good idea to recall this momentous event when we feel lonely, rejected, defeated and give up on our dreams. Like the Kudzu plant, we grow to have strong roots and vines, capable of accomplishing great feats, when we believe in our uniqueness and purpose, regardless of societal constructs that seek to contain it, or events that may seem to derail our plans . Like Kudzu, we can adapt and grow more effectively, when we speak our truth. Then we can find the most fertile environment where our ideas take root and blossom.
You can purchase this painting as a personal gift to remind you of your inner resolve and truth, or give it to someone special by clicking on It Takes Courage. Available for immediate delivery within the continental USA.
Have a beautiful holiday week!